The launch of GOES-18, the newest weather satellite •

The launch of GOES-18, the newest weather satellite

Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features the GOES-T satellite as it was launched on March 1, 2022, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on an Atlas V rocket.

“Two weeks after launch, the nation’s newest weather watcher has reached geostationary orbit,” reports NASA.

“On March 14, the satellite was officially renamed GOES-18; satellites in the GOES series are named with a letter prior to launch and with a number after settling into orbit.”

“This week, mission operators managed the final orbit-raising maneuver to bring the satellite to a geostationary altitude, about 36,000 kilometers (22,000 miles) above Earth’s surface. The satellite will orbit at the same rate that Earth rotates so it can keep constant watch over the same region.”

Since 1975. weather satellites like GOES-18 have been built in partnership between NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

While NASA usually oversees the design and launch of the spacecrafts, NOAA operates the satellites once they are in orbit. 

Scientists hope to see the first images from GOES-18 in May 2022, just before the satellite completes post-launch testing. In early 2023, GOES-18 will take over as the operational GOES-West satellite, replacing GOES-17.

“This launch continues a 48-year history of NOAA, NASA, industry, and academia working together on geostationary satellite observations,” said John Gagosian, director of NASA’s Joint Agency Satellite Division. “GOES satellites help us every day. They bring advanced capabilities to help forecasters better monitor and predict dangerous environmental conditions like hurricanes, thunderstorms, floods, and fires.”

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Staff Writer

News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day